Thursday, November 12, 2009

Reading the Tea Leaves

The new batch of TGY;  Hand Picked, Hand Process, Hand Packed and Hand Delivered. Da Xia and her family are superb craftsmen and artisans of Ti Guan Yin. The father is an amazing person that will talk endlessly about the subtleties of his craft, I only wished my understanding of their dialect (a variant of Hokkien) would let me follow him directly without translation.  His passion needs no translation.PIC-0038Dry leaves  have a dramatic appearance, Rich Full Colour, uniform shape lacking deformity, Clean, no dust or cuttings.  The rolled leaves don’t have that tight compact shape typical of machine processing.  These are hand manipulated at every step of the processing.   The Dad will explain how he can manipulate aromas and flavors from various plantings by how he he kneads the leaves in the large drying woks.DSC00461cThe texture and handling of the dry tea is a pleasure, the subtle and complex aroma only add to the anticipation of what is to come.DSC00461caThe full leaves yield their captured essence in the pot, look at the large full leaves.DSC00484cDSC00483 These examples only underscore what is possible when time is taken and care is given to the picking and processing of leaves.DSC00485c

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